To Go Forward You Must Go Back

New A Game of Thrones: The Card Game FAQ Is Now Available

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The latest version of the A Game of Thrones: The Card Game FAQ is now online! This update contains the usual streamlined language, clarifications, and other minor changes that come with refining the rules, as well as new additions to the Joust and Melee restricted lists. Learn why these changes were made directly from the developer in the paragraphs below, and then download the new FAQ to see all the changes for yourself.

Download the new FAQ by clicking on the image above.
This update goes into effect 06/11/2018.

A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Lead Developer, Daniel Schaefer

Hello A Game of Thrones: The Card Game players!

In addition to the standard rules updates and clarifications, this FAQ update makes some changes that will have significant ramifications for the competitive game. This includes updates to the restricted lists for both Joust and Melee, as well as errata that slightly alters the functionality of two cards. This article summarizes each of these changes to provide an understanding of the rationale behind the decisions.

Melee Restricted List

The Melee restricted list was first introduced late last year, with the goal of extending games and reducing the ability for decks to win on the first one or two turns. The list has largely been successful in this goal, but as the card pool grows and the metagame evolves, the list required an update to address some of the powerful strategies in the format. Corpse Lake (House of Thorns, 28), Khal Drogo (Core Set, 162), Doran’s Game (Core Set, 119), and “The Song of the Seven” (The Faith Militant, 98) all fit naturally into strategies looking to accumulate power quickly and easily, with “The Song of the Seven” being particularly problematic in the Melee format because it can severely punish the player who wins dominance.

Taena Merryweather (Lions of Casterly Rock, 10) fits into another kind of fast strategy, one that can filter through a huge chunk of its deck by playing a large number of events and finish the game with an overwhelming combo turn. While these combo decks can be somewhat kept in check via politics in Melee, Taena is simply too powerful. Finally, Flea Bottom (Oberyn’s Revenge, 98) is problematic because it’s an incredibly efficient source of card and tempo advantage that slots easily into almost any deck, homogenizing deck builds. Restricting it should open up some more diversity in the format.

Joust Restricted List

The Joust restricted list was introduced a few months ago with the goal of weakening event-based combo decks. While that version of the list did break up some of the most prominent combo deck builds of the time, recent results suggest that it did not go far enough, as new versions of the combo decks have put up strong tournament results. Fast, consistent combo decks present significant problems to the metagame, as I outlined in the article accompanying the original Joust restricted list. For that reason, this update takes a more aggressive approach against combo, adding nine cards to the list that are all aimed at weakening combo decks. They are: “The Dornishman’s Wife” (Guarding the Realm, 39), Littlefinger’s Meddling (Lions of Casterly Rock, 49), The Dragon’s Tail (Across the Seven Kingdoms, 1), Hear Me Roar! (Core Set, 100), The Red Viper (Core Set, 109), Tower of the Sun (Across the Seven Kingdoms, 17), All Men Are Fools (All Men Are Fools, 4), “Six Maids in a Pool” (House of Thorns, 23), To the Rose Banner! (Wolves of the North, 38)

These cards fall into three broad categories: event-based card draw, event-based or burst economy, and easy or unlimited power gain. Where possible, we aimed to restrict cards that we felt would have the least impact for non-combo decks, creating minimal disruption for the rest of the metagame.

We’re also removing one card from the restricted list: The Hand’s Judgment (Core Set, 45). This card was placed on the original list to limit the ability for combo decks to protect themselves, but there are enough other protective options that having The Hand’s Judgment on the list felt unnecessary. While we could have added other “protection” cards—such as Nightmares (Calm Over Westeros, 99)—to the list, that would have likely caused more reciprocal harm to other decks. Instead, The Hand’s Judgment is being removed in favor of cards that contribute directly to the combo decks’ speed and consistency.

The new text on To Go Forward You Must Go Back

Errata

Finally, we are introducing errata that slightly alters the functionality of two cards.

The first is for To Go Forward You Must Go Back (Someone Always Tells, 114). We considered a clarification as we had done in our new rules clarification forum, but felt errata would be more effective in communicating the card's intent. The printed wording on the card makes the shuffle part of the event’s cost. This has some unintended rules consequences that did not match the way the card was tested or the way that most players would expect it to work. Rather than stick with the printed wording, the card is receiving errata to make the shuffle part of the card’s effect, ensuring the intended functionality.

The second change is to Driftwood Cudgel (Someone Always Tells, 112). In situations where multiple characters are killed simultaneously—due to the effect of Valar Morghulis (There is My Claim, 80), for instance—the Cudgel’s interrupt ability could be used multiple times before any characters left play. This could allow a player to gain one power on each of their

The new text on Driftwood Cudgel

Drowned God characters and win the game before those characters were killed. This interaction is outside the intuitive scope of what the card should do, and it has a potentially dramatic effect on the card’s power level and how it is played. For that reason, the card is receiving errata limiting the interrupt ability to once per phase. This eliminates the problematic interaction while mostly preserving the card’s functionality when used in other circumstances.

We hope this gives you a helpful window into the thought process behind this update. There are some large changes here, but we believe they will greatly improve the competitive game. We’ll continue to make periodic updates as we work to make this game the best it can be!

Download the new A Game of Thrones: The Card Game FAQ now to read the entire update. Players attending an event before June 11th can still find the previous FAQ on the A Game of Thrones: The Card Game page.

As always, other rules documents and support materials for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game can be found on our A Game of Thrones: The Card Game page as well.

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